Friday, March 17, 2017

Tombstone and Bisbee

We stayed at the Encore park in Benson Arizona for basically the first week in March.  The park is typical of the RV parks in the southwest.  A large gravel parking lot with utility hook ups and if it is billed as a "resort" it will have a pool and hot tub.  We generally don't take advantage of the resort amenities.  However, we did see a few nice sunsets.


 A few miles east of Benson there is a mountain pass through the Dragoon mountains where there are  rather interesting house-size boulders scattered over several square miles. From the Texas Canyon a rest area on I-10 you can get a good view of the rocks. The area from the Dragoon Mountains south to the Chiricahua mountains was the home land of Cochise and Geronimo apache leaders.





The above photos were taken at the nearby Amerind museum.  The picnic area surrounding the museum was quite picturesque.  The museum (like most) does not allow photography inside the buildings. However, we found the museum to be a first class record of American indian culture both pre- and post-columbian periods.  The companion art museum was very impressive with extensive collections of water color and oil images of old west and indian scenes.
The town of Benson, Arizona had only a few run-of-the-mill stores and business to include a Super Walmart.  Of the several restaurants, the Horseshoe Cafe seemed to be the most popular.  We had breakfast and a lunch there.  The food was very good.

We were not in a hurry to visit the town of Tombstone as it has a reputation as quite a touristy town.  Although the town has its share of staged OK corral gunfights and old west characters wandering the streets, we found quite a lot of real history to experience.  The town court house museum is definitely worth the $5 admission. 

The court room in the building is maintained fairly close to the original.


 There are displays summarizing the biographies of many local characters who lived in the town in the 1800's.
 We made the rounds of the many gift shops.  Among them was the building where Morgan Earp was killed.  In the movie Tombstone he was shot and dies on a pool table in the front of the saloon.  It turns out the pool table was in the rear of the saloon.  Also Morgan, who died several hours later was shot by an assassin through the windowed doors from an alley in back of the saloon. The gift shop had pictures from the 1880's which showed the interior as it existed in Earp's day. The windowed doors are still there as well as a sky light which was above the pool table.

The gallows has been reconstructed on its original location in the courthouse side yard.
 After a morning touring Tombstone, we traveled another 30 miles south to the border mining town of Bisbee.
 With its narrow streets and mountainous terrain the town is very interesting.  Copper mining is its main industry.  We had lunch at a local restaurant, but did not have time for the tour of the copper mine.




We stayed a week in Benson taking care of a veterinary appointment for Barney and a commissary shopping trip to nearby Fort Hachucca.